The Jordano Era
Excellence. Integrity. Passion.
Three words to describe the successful baseball coaching career of 17th-year Pitt skipper, Joe Jordano. Hired by Steve Pederson to lead the Panthers on November 15, 1997, Jordano began a rebuilding project that has delivered an unprecedented amount of growth, productivity and success over the past 17 seasons.
In 1997, the Panthers, only three years removed from a conference title, were slipping within the ranks of the powerful Big East Conference and were in need of a new direction and vision. Jordano stepped in and engineered an incredible turn-around in just one season as he molded the Panthers into a significant presence over the past 16 seasons. Pitt has won over 400 games, been nationally-ranked, sent numerous players to the professional ranks and established itself as a force in the highly-competitive Big East Conference. Jordano will now be at the helm of the Panthers as they begin their tenure in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
Jordano successfully guided the Panthers into the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning in 2014. With 22 wins on the season, Jordano reached the 20-win plateau for the sixth consecutive season and 14th time in his 16-year tenure at Pittsburgh. The program's highlight of the year was a walk-off win against No. 1-ranked and eventual NCAA runner up Virginia, the programs first victory against a top team. At the conclusion of the season, Pitt matched its feat from 2013 with three players taken in the 2014 MLB Draft, matching the second most in school history.
The 2013 season was one of the most successful in Pitt baseball history as the Panthers won a school-record 42 games and were ranked for a program-best seven weeks during the season, climbing as high as a program-best 16th in the nation. Pitt also cracked the rankings of all five major baseball publications for the first time ever.
A school-record eight Panthers took home All-Big East honors, four players garnered All-Region accolades while Casey Roche was named an All-American during the Panthers' final season in the Big East.
The impressive season was capped when three Pitt players heard their names called at the 2013 MLB Draft, the second most in school history.
Jerry Oakes is set to begin his thirdseason as the pitching coach at the University of Pittsburgh after being added to the staff by head coach Joe Jordano in August of 2012.
In his second season with the Panthers, Oakes guided the pitching staff to a second-consecutive season with a sub-4.00 earned run average. The team ERA of 3.97 from 2014 stands as the second lowest by a Pitt team since at least 1993. Three pitchers - Luke Curtis, Joseph Harvey and Matt Wotherspoon - who all helped achieve the feat were selected in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft. That total stands as the most Pitt pitchers drafted in one seasonin program history.
Oakes' debut season with Pitt featured a highly successful pitching rotation. The staffposted the lowest ERA (3.59) for the Panther program since 1981 as Pitt won a school-record 42 games.
All three of the Panthers' weekend starters earned All-Big East honors, including Ethan Mildren who earned All-Region honors as well. The weekend rotation combined for a 27-7 record and a 2.93 ERA. Additionally, Mildren and Wotherspoon were selected in the 2013 MLB draft.
Oakes joined the Panthers' coaching staff after spending the last four years at perennial power Coastal Carolina where he worked with the pitchers and outfielders. During Oakes' tenure, the Chanticleers dominated the Big South, winning the all four regular season and conference tournament titles. Fueled in large part by their pitching staff, Coastal won 40-plus games all four seasons, including a Division I-best 55 victories during the 2010-11 campaign.